Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of The Black Cloister; Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana; and Together for Good, and she has now authored nine contemporary and historical novels including Love Finds You in Nazareth, Pennsylvania which releases in November 2011.
Prior to launching Dobson Media Group in 1999, Melanie was the corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family where she was responsible for the publicity of events, products, films, and TV specials. Melanie received her undergraduate degree in journalism from Liberty University and her master’s degree in communication from Regent University. She has worked in the fields of publicity and journalism for fifteen years including two years as a publicist for The Family Channel.
Melanie and her husband, Jon, met in Colorado Springs in 1997 at Vanguard Church. Jon works in the field of computer animation. Since they’ve been married, the Dobsons have relocated numerous times including stints in Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Colorado, Berlin, and Southern California. These days they are enjoying their new home in the Pacific Northwest.
Jon and Melanie have adopted their two daughters —Karly (6) and Kinzel (5). When Melanie isn’t writing or entertaining their girls, she enjoys exploring ghost towns and dusty back roads, traveling, hiking, line dancing, and reading inspirational fiction.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
With a backdrop of the community of The Amana Colonies, the Civil War, and a great love story, Melanie Dobson’s new historical fiction title LOVE FINDS YOU IN AMANA, IOWA both enlightening and entertaining.
The novel is set in the United States during the turmoil of the 1860s. As the rest of the nation is embroiled in the Civil War, the Amana Colonies have remained at peace with a strong faith in God and pursuit of community, intertwined with hard work, family life and the building of their colony.
Amalie Wiese is travelling to the newly built village of Amana in 1863. When she arrives in the colonies she finds that her fiancée, Friedrich has left to fight with the Union Army. Amalie fears for his safety as she also struggles with his decision to abandon the colony’s beliefs. Matthias, Frederick’s friend, stays back in Amana to work in the colonies. But there is something wrong with Matthias; he always seems angry at Amalie when there is no simple explanation for him to act that way.
The goods that colonies manufacture are much needed supplies for the war effort and Matthias decides to deliver the goods to the soldiers. When he leaves, Amalie realizes that her fear for Matthias’s safety is equally as strong. What will become of Friedrich, will Matthias return safely, and will Amalie marry Friedrich? LOVE FINDS YOU IN AMANA, IOWA is a richly told story of life in the Amana Society and the people who live and love there.
Love Finds You in Amana, Iowa takes place during the Civil War in Amana, Iowa, one of the seven Amana Colonies built by the Inspirationalists. The residents of Amana, a Christian communal town, all work together for the good of all. Although they have strict rules about dress and relationships between unmarried men and women, this group did not forbid marriage and did not participate in any of the strange practices I have recently read about the Shakers who might seem very similar at first glance.
As a romance, Love Finds You in Amana, Iowa features a love triangle that only one of the participants has knowledge of. Matthias secretly loves Friedrich’s fiance Amalie but has managed to keep it from them. When Friedrich leaves the community to fight for the Union army, Matthias is left to explain his absence to Amalie. His guilt over not being able to stop Friedrich from leaving and for loving his best friend’s girl causes him to treat Amalie badly. So the big question in the romance department is how this triangle will play out. Will Amalie and Friedrich marry and live happily ever after? Can Matthias make peace with that and remain friends. Or will the answer be something else entirely?
As a historical novel, this book captures the way of life in Amana that helps the reader see it clearly. The point of view of the peace loving Inspirationalists was illustrated in Friedrich’s personal conflict over the decision to stay in Amana or to go to war to help those who couldn’t help themselves. Once his decision was made, he quickly got an up close look at what war is really like but determined to continue to help others the only way he knew how.
Love Finds You in Amana, Iowa is an excellent historical romance with a strong message of what laying down your life for others really means.